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Non-conformist
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1,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since a lot of members here opt for doing their own web sites, there is a very good chance that you are making a common error in your design. But hey, a lot of pros do too, so don't feel bad. Which also tells you that even if your site was developed by a pro, you still want to check this out.

Logic would tell you if you want to make something stand out on your page, you make it stand out. Usability tests prove that logic is wrong. This isn't new information, but if it's new to you, it might explain why your visitors are "missing it" when they view your site.

Check out the following:
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/fancy-formatting.html

Take careful notice that it's not just the big red numbers that killed this page, it's some stuffed shirt designer thought "population clock" sounded more creative than "current US population."

It reminds me of all those sites I review here that say something like, "We operate only with the utmost integrity." Sure that sounds nice, and I'm not trying to be too critical, but if you realize how ineffective that is and correct it, you will see much better response (i.e. profits).

What stood out to you in this study? How can it help you? Have you considered the importance of eye tracking and usability before? Did you even realize they did eye tracking or did that term sound like something only your doctor would care about?
 

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Non-conformist
Joined
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1,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's awful quiet in here :) Is this too "geeky" for everyone?

OK, I'll go first. I've had a series of articles on my site for several years that are about a graphic design program called CorelDRAW. I get a lot of traffic to these because they cover a lot of information and it does well with search engines. At one point I noticed I had a lot of people landing on one of the articles because their menu bar or toolbar was missing and they were searching for how to fix it.

CorelDRAW is a highly (and easily) customizable program, so the downside is a couple of accidental clicks sometimes cause new users to unitentionally hide their menu bar. It's a very easy thing to fix that can be done in 2 clicks too once you know how. So I created a new page with a "1, 2, done" fix that anyone could read in 30 seconds. I put a text link to the new page called "Fix missing menu or toolbar" on top of the left side of the page that was getting traffic for that term.

Guess what? Most people were not clicking it. I made it red. Still not getting clicked. The speed and pattern at which people scan a page made it invisible too them.

I wish I could report some clever solution, but I decided to just wait out the search engines to re-index so traffic for that term would go to the new page. BTW, Yahoo did that very quickly (a matter of days). Google took a long time for some unknown reason. As I recall, it was a few months or so.

There is a moral to this story. The content in the body of your page will draw more attention. Good use of headings and bite size chunks of text helps web pages get read or more easily scanned.
 
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